Two companies receive Business of Year during Edwardsville breakfast

 By DENNIS GRUBAUGH, Illinois Business Journal

Two of Edwardsville’s newest and largest residential developments, both on Illinois Route 157, shared 2021 Business of the Year honors announced Tuesday by the city.

Honored were Fireside Financial, which developed the Whispering Heights buildings near Woodland Elementary School, and Trace on the Parkway, a residential/retail development that continues to unfold on land that once held Madison Mutual Insurance building.

The honors came at the end of the 2021 Business Forecast, a breakfast gathering that was held virtually this year. Dr. Alicia Plemmons, an assistant professor of economics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, gave a review of the year past and projections for the year ahead.

Brett Gilliland, one of the founders of Visionary Wealth Advisors in Metro East, was the keynote speaker and talked about measures people can take to improve their physical and mental well-being and provide structure and meaning to their lives and businesses.

The highlight of the annual event is the Business of the Year honor. Mayor Hal Patton introduced segments on the two winners.

The $35 million Whispering Heights project includes 152 higher-end apartments and 18,000 square feet of retail space, rooftop balconies, a fitness center and a parking structure. The pair of buildings cater to millennials and empty nesters. The local owners are husband and wife Michael and Kristie Bailey, respectively the managing partner and partner of Fireside Financial.

“We are honored. Who knew 14 years ago that a fireside chat would result in our dream?” Kristie Bailey said.

Fireside employs 27 people locally and more than 160 regionwide, she said.

Fireside started out as a private equity real estate fund for the purpose of investing, Michael Bailey said.

“Those investments have become so much more,” he said. “They are family homes, offices, work space and for some just a place to hang out and relax. We are proud to be a part of those many projects and look forward to many more to come.”

Scott Plocher, president of Plocher Construction Co., which is developing Trace on the Parkway, said his company has built more than 60 projects in the Edwardsville area since 1989, representing $100-million-plus in investments. He credited exceptional assistance from city leaders and staff; as well as the work of his development partner, Chris Byron, and Byron’s partners at the law firm of Byron Carlson Petri and Kalb in Edwardsville.

The $50 million Trace development includes 184 luxury apartments, eight planned town homes and a resort style pool when the work is completed. Some 11 businesses — a combination of retailers,  restaurants and professional services, are located in buildings constructed on the land, with work continuing.

“We are so thankful to be a part of the Edwardsville business and residential community. We look forward to future years of success in Edwardsville and the surrounding area,” Plocher said.

Walter Williams, the city’s economic development director, coordinated Tuesday’s event.

PHOTOS: Kristie and Michael Bailey of Fireside Financial, top, and Scott Plocher, Plocher Construction. Photos from Zoom.

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